No need to play the ‘Never have I ever’ game with
Stay-at-Home Dads (SHD) were once an extremely rare breed of refined gentlemen who understood that by staying home and handling the hearth, they didn’t automatically masculine hara-kiri. However, today we can happily state that this is no longer the state of affairs with, if not the majority, then a significant portion of men are opting to stay home while their wives go off to work.
These exemplary fellows usually reach this decision around the time the couple receives news of a tiny poop-machine heading their way. Feminist mothers who value their career graphs are often torn at the thought of leaving their child after just six-nine months of cuddles but are equally worried about 5-10 years of hard work going down the drain. This dilemma till recently was solved by hiring domestic help or handing over the child to the grandparents or any other obliging relative during office hours, an arrangement that no parent could ever be truly happy with.
Stay at home dads offered a great alternative to these solutions with more and more, self-assured men rejecting the idea of handing over their precious baby to anyone. They instead work out an arrangement to be the ones at home to take care of the new-born while the women provide financially for the family.
What’s more there are many different types of Stay-at-Home Fathers, you have the typical one like Atul Agnihotri from Pune, who handles his daughter, Mrunmayee and the household tasks while his wife Arundhati is the financial provider for the family. He currently holds the ubiquitous title of India’s most famous stay-at-home dad after being featured on Satyamev Jayate.
Apart from these you have fathers who made a successful transition to work-from-home like Samar Halarnkar from Delhi, who was the Managing Editor of Hindustan Times before he quit and established himself as a columnist and author to take care of his daughter Alia.
You also have couples who agree to split the work 50-50 like Victor and Marian Tellis who divided the housework and financial aspects equally between them when their daughters Shannon, Sheona and Sherii made an entrance in their lives.
There are also fathers who compromise like Shankar Dasgupta who chose to teach classical music at the school where his daughter, Antara, eventually enrolled to match her timetable rather than pursue a career as a musician.
We raise our hats in salute to these real gentlemen who love their wives enough to know women deserve a life outside of home and love their children enough to ensure that they get the parental attention they need.